Do you see me now?

"What cannot be said will be wept." -Sappho
There are days of depression when I don't get out of bed. At night I can't sleep, in the morning I can't wake up. On those days, I'm lucky if I shower. Those are the kind of days I have to ride it out, holding on until the darkness subsides.

"How do you run from what's inside your head?" -Alice in Wonderland
Medication is part of my daily treatment plan. I've changed my medication enough times that I've lost count. The names blur together sometimes. Right now I take 25 mg. of Syroquel to sleep, and 300 mg. of Lamictal to balance my mood, with an occasional 20 mg. of Propranolol for anxiety.
"It can be exhausting and overwhelming to be in your own skin." -Casie Brown-Bordley
Sometimes, it's hard to see the sunshine. All I can see is dark clouds floating around my head. But there is sunshine. You've just got to know where to look.
"There is no magic cure, no making it go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn't matter anymore." -Laurie Halse Anderson
Trying to find the right kind of lifestyle balance is a challenge--a challenge that everyone faces. But with bipolar disorder, the balance seems like a needle in a haystack that can only be found through a concoction of meds, exercise, sleep, counseling, and a myriad of other things. Turns out, that concoction is changing all the time.
"I hate when I tell someone I have bipolar and I see a look of terror in their eyes." -Christine Kirton
Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder has changed the way I look at myself. I used to see just a girl with green eyes. Now I see a girl with a stormy sea inside her brain. The girl I see isn't perfect, but she is learning how to navigate the waves.
"Even if I was a bird, flying away wouldn't help. The problem is in my head, not on a place." -Unknown
When I'm manic, I run away. There are so many thoughts racing through my head and I can't make them stop. I do things to distract myself so that I can find some semblance of peace.
"You cannot outrun insanity, anymore than you can outrun your own shadow." -Alyssa Reyans
When I run away, I drive. There's something about getting in my car and heading down the road that calms me down. I don't have to think. I can just drive.
"Bipolar can make you feel unstable, but you are still able. Never give up, never give in, you will find your peace again." -G.E. Laine

Being bipolar isn't easy. Mental illnesses are challenges, challenges that aren't fully understood. I'm still learning, but isn't that what life is about?

(Photography by Kiely Edmonds Robledo www.pocketofblossoms.com, pocketofblossoms@gmail.com)